Friday, January 8, 2010

Cat toys

If you're renting in the country and are being frugal, chances are your most expensive asset after your car is your cat or dog. After vet bills, it's unlikely that there's much money left for toys, and let's face it, pet toys are the aesthetic equivalent of jell-o and they're the fastest way (short of having a baby) to completely ruin your rustic decor, or, if they're squeaky, your sanity.

I made a lovely little cat toy this morning which almost made me late for work. I have trouble justifying buying cat toys not only for the above mentioned reason but also because my cat plays with anything she can get her little paws on. For the past few days her toy of choice has been a turkey feather that she got out of a vase I had moved onto the floor in the process of rearranging. She has been very taken by it, chasing, pouncing, and tumbling with the feather whenever she isn't lounging by the stove. I decide to make her play a little more fitting for a civilized household, so got out another turkey feather, tied them together with a bit of yarn, and hung the feathers from an upper rung of the ladder so the feathers hung at perfect cat height away from the wall but out of the way of foot traffic.

You could do this by hanging feathers (or just about anything - though cats really love feathers) about a foot from the corner of a wide door frame, from the mantel, or anywhere else you can hang a discreet hook or nail that's far enough from a wall to avoid causing damage by clawing. If you don't have feathers lying around try using branches or anything that looks furry or vaguely mouse-like. a little catnip pillow also works (there's a great design for a catnip mouse, if you like sewing, in this wonderful book Country Wisdom & Know-How). Yarn is a great string to use because, doubled or tripled up it is quite strong and it is bouncy - which is fun for the cat - and chances are good that you have some spare yarn lying around the house.

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